Today on Blogcritics
Home » Culture and Society » Sheer InsaniTEA: TEA Party Politicos Make a New Enemy — the GOP

Sheer InsaniTEA: TEA Party Politicos Make a New Enemy — the GOP

Please Share...Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Facebook0Share on Google+0Share on LinkedIn0Pin on Pinterest0Share on TumblrShare on StumbleUpon0Share on Reddit0Email this to someone

I must say that writing this article is not something which I had wanted to do or in any way looked forward to. However, in light of recent events, I feel that what I am about to say simply has to be said.

When the TEA (Taxed Enough Already) Party Movement was initiated a little over a year and a half ago at the urging of CNBC pundit Rick Santelli, I gave it nothing less than my full support. Though I never personally attended any of the rallies or events associated with it, I was very happy to see that the TEA Party had manifested itself in the smashingly successful 9/12 Taxpayer’s March on Washington, DC last autumn, thus securing itself a place on the national stage. After all, what was not to like about  one million people — according to some estimates — making their way to Capitol Hill in order to have their concerns addressed about our country’s disastrous economy and even worse long-term financial prospects? Absolutely nothing. During that time, I believed that the TEA Party would be a great asset to both the Republican Party and America’s center-right political movement as a whole.

I was mistaken, to put it mildly.

One thing that many do not realize is that the TEA Party of today is not the TEA Party of 2009, or even earlier this year. Back in January, the TEA Party did not hesitate to back centrist Republican Scott Brown in his historical bid to win the late “Liberal Lion” Ted Kennedy’s former United States Senate seat in Massachusetts. This most certainly would not happen now. No, it appears that the TEA Party apparatus has been taken over by — for lack of better words — a bunch of kooks. These are not just your ordinary, run-of-the-mill wingnuts, however. Perhaps it is due to the fact that many of them have limited political experience or that they have egos which have yet to be fully realized, but there are some dangerous power trips being made inside the hierarchy of the TEA Party. Unfortunately, they are all being conducted directly at the expense of America’s future as a prosperous, functioning nation.

This is blatantly apparent through the TEA Party’s endorsements and hefty financial support for fundie fanatics such as Tim D’Annunzio in North Carolina’s eighth congressional district, seemingly pathological liars the likes of Dan Maes in Colorado’s gubernatorial race, and, to top it all off, scam artists and total loons like Christine O’Donnell in Delaware’s ongoing GOP senatorial primary. Needless to say, all three of these people would be totally and completely annihilated by their respective Democratic opponents in November. Do the controlling interests of the TEA Party realize this?

Of course they do.

So, then, why are they working against their own and the Republican Party’s best interests? The answer is simple. They have decided to place purity over pragmatism and effectively write themselves into the history books in the process. So long as the TEA Party continues with this self-defeating one-track mindset, nothing can be done to prevent the misfortunes which are coming its way.

The only question now is whether or not the GOP will go down in flames alongside it.

For all of our sakes, I hope not.

Powered by

About Joseph F. Cotto

  • hempstead1944

    Nothing wrong with Tea Party. Problem lies with candidates who betray their constituents. GOP is nothing more than Democrat Lite ! Americans know it…now.

  • Baronius

    The Tea Party’s strengths are its weaknesses. It’s disorganized (no matter how many people claim that it’s “astroturf”). Its lack of organization means it can be involved in dozens of campaigns, and isn’t weighed down by the baggage of old political deals. It also means that any lunatic who wants to lower taxes and nuke Canada is going to find some Tea Party organization to endorse him.

    The good news is that it’ll bring new blood into politics; the bad news is that the new officeholders will have no experience.

    The benefit is that the candidates won’t blindly obey their party; the drawback is that they’ll be impossible for their fellow legislators to work with.

    As with any political party or movement, you need to look at the individual candidates and decide which is the best for the job. As much as I love seeing activity in the primaries, sometimes the establishment candidate is going to be the better choice.

  • Baronius

    Let me add two points. First of all, it’s as wrong to declare the Tea Party the worst thing in the world today as it was to declare them the best thing 6 months ago. Movements rarely develop in a smooth way. Secondly, you’re going to see a lot of the Tea Party’s energy get absorbed into the Republican Party once the primaries are over. The establishment GOP has shown time and time again that it’ll support anyone with an R after his name.

  • vonclausewitz

    As an Austin, Texas, Tea Party member, I have participated in many Tea Party events. If Mr. Cotto had attended some, he might have discovered that the Tea Party is principally an expression of involvement in politics and culture by folks who were previously uninvolved. He would also discover that its “leadership” is virtually nonexistent. That is to say, each member moves in his own direction, a truly grass roots movement. Tea Party folks will vote in the general elections for the candidates who most directly voice their own principles. Does Mr. Cotto believe those would be R or D?

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    vonclausewitz, suspiciously similar to a certain Mr. Nalle, chooses to generalize the tone of local Austin tea party meetings and apply it to the national tea party movement. The national movement has given us such loons as Sharron Angle and Christine O’Donnell and Dan Maes.

    The idealism of some individual supporters is at odds with the loud-mouthed know-nothingism of several of the candidates their cohorts endorse.

    Not to mention national media/political wackos like Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck and Michele Bachmann, who have climbed on the TP bandwagon. Don’t they embarrass you at all?

    We’re glad you’re not crazy. Now be brave enough to shout down those who are.

  • Cannonshop

    #5 Handy, the same can be said of the other side, with loons like Farrakhan, William Ayers, Reverend Wright, Ward Churchill (who can forget the “Little Eichmanns” comment. really…), E.L.F., PETA, A.L.F., and so many others that the names literally escape me at the moment on the LEFT.

    The lunatic fringes of either side don’t define their side-I doubt seriously that mainstream democrats want to force everyone onto a Vegan diet, destroy all technology, collectivize all farming, or institute violent purges of “Speciesist Oppressors”, I likewise doubt all Dems believe in race-based transfer payments (“Reparations”) or subscribe to Liberation theology.

    However, as they ARE the party that wants to pass legislation without reading it first, and the party that assigns motivation to State Legislation that they have likewise not read, along with assigning motives to groups they have no contact with (such as the TEA party), well…for intellectuals, the Left seem rather lacking in rigour.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    The people I mentioned are candidates for public office right now, along with very popular current media figures, not moldy old news stories.

    Your examples from “the left” are not comparable examples at all, and certainly not as electorally connected to the Democratic Party as the Tea Party or Sarah Palin are to the GOP.

    If your comment #6 is your best example of “intellectual rigor,” you have my sympathies.

  • Baronius

    Maxine Waters and Dennis Kucinich are running this year, right?

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    They wouldn’t quite serve the same purpose in Cannon’s “argument.” They are pretty standard-issue urban liberals. Not fiery weird loudmouths like Angle and O’Donnell.

  • Cannonshop

    #9 Let’s see… Nancy Pelosi said, “we have to pass to bill to know what’s in it”, Chuck Rangel, who’s been in congress for frikking ever and sat on the appropriations committee for many years before he chaired it, (and on the Ethics committee as well) is a tax-cheat who uses a rent-controlled apartment in New York as an ‘office’ in spite of not being poor enough to qualify (and it’s a SECOND apartment at that!), MOST Of the mainstream LEADERSHIP of the Democratic Party have, over the last two years, demonstrated a decided aversion to reading-reading the bills they champion, or the laws they want struck down, including the Att’y General (Eric Holder), and the President himself.

    By comparison, I’d say Angle and O’Donnell just aren’t weird enough to compete. Most of my previous examples are, at least, literate enough to LOOK like they know what they’re talking about when they open their mouths.

  • Baronius

    Oh, great. UFO’s and CIA conspiracies are run-of-the-mill for a sizable portion of your party, and you’re lecturing the GOP about their crazies. The fact is, the oddest Republicans stand out, but the oddest Democrats blend in with the rest of their party. The weirdest people on the Right get attention as they attempt to gain office, but the weirdos on the Left are longstanding committee chairs.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Cannon and Baronius —
    Enjoy repeating your standard-issue fantasies. I’m not going to take this particular bait. Read the news once in a while, Cannon, and do some actual thinking, instead of regurgitating extremist talking points.

    If Sharron Angle and/or Christine O’Donnell is elected to the Senate, the country will immediately be a less sane place. I actually think you agree with me, but you wouldn’t dare admit it.

  • zingzing

    cannonshop: “Nancy Pelosi said, “we have to pass to bill to know what’s in it.””

    cannonshop, if you can’t figure out what she meant by that… come on, don’t play dumb. its meaning is obvious. trying to use that as an example of laziness or whatever just proves that you’re the one who’s lazy. figure it out. really, i can’t believe you don’t know what she means. it’s obvious. if you can put together a sentence, you have the reading comprehension necessary to figure that one out.

    “Most of my previous examples are, at least, literate enough to LOOK like they know what they’re talking about when they open their mouths.”

    why don’t you practice that yourself?

  • zingzing

    baronius: “The fact is, the oddest Republicans stand out, but the oddest Democrats blend in with the rest of their party.”

    except that’s not a fact… you really can’t take such a subjective point (“oddest?”) and portray it as a objective fact. it’s an opinion. and a slanted one at that.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Nancy Pelosi may be many things, but “dumb” and illiterate are not among them. The quote Cannon takes out of context and deliberately misinterprets was in a speech to constituents about the health care bill:

    You’ve heard about the controversies within the bill, the process about the bill, one or the other. But I don’t know if you have heard that it is legislation for the future, not just about health care for America, but about a healthier America, where preventive care is not something that you have to pay a deductible for or out of pocket. Prevention, prevention, prevention – it’s about diet, not diabetes. It’s going to be very, very exciting.

    “But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of the controversy.”

    She went on to point out that the stimulus bill, the education reforms, the clean energy incentives, and certainly the health bill were not examples of Obama “not getting around to” addressing unemployment — they are all bills that create many thousands of jobs, and will continue to do so for years.

    Anyhow, despite a bit of scrambled syntax, to suggest that this very sharp [sharp mind, sharp elbows] legislator didn’t know what was in the health care bill is bogus nonsense. Try again, using actual facts this time.

  • Clavos

    “But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of the controversy.”

    Spin it any way you want guys, it’s still a backwards approach to legislation.

    Pass a bill before Congress knows what’s in it, let alone the public???

    Fuckin’ demagogic is what that is.

  • zingzing

    come on, clavos. you are also playing dumb. she’s not saying she didn’t read it. not even close. but you know that. you’re deliberately confusing her point. (and that point is fucking obvious.)

  • Clavos

    The point is not whether she read it or not (I don’t think so), the point is whether the rest of Congress did (doubtful). The demagoguery lies in her pushing to get it passed before everyone has read it, and way before the public gets even a decent summary of it. In effect she says, to the voters, “let us pass it, then we’ll talk about what’s in it.” That’s plain backward, zing, and very wrong.

    But, it may well be moot by winter; it stands a good chance of being repealed if the GOP makes the predicted advances in the midterms.

  • Arch ConscienceStain

    I wonder if everybody who was against the bill had read the full text.

    I bet they had not.

    Hypocritical bastards.

  • zingzing

    no, clavos, the point is that legislation can be written, but it’s meaningless until we see it in action. it’s just words on paper in the congress, it’s just words on paper for the president to sign, it’s just words on paper in the press, it’s just rumor amongst the people, it’s just soundbites (“death panels,” “killing grandma,” “socialism,”) from the opposition.

    (and the people rarely, if ever, read legislation before it is passed. so don’t bring up that shit. and you had plenty of summaries, but as to whether they were decent or not, that’s up to opinion.)

    it’s not about them reading it or you reading it or me reading it. what she said was about how it actually works, not what you (or me) are told it will do.

    that’s the damn point. it’s not about “legislative process,” it’s about the reality.

    since you didn’t get that, i can only assume you’re either playing politics or you’re incapable of reading anything beyond the surface you want to see.

  • Clavos

    zing, I get it. What I have failed to point out until now because I thought you were aware of it is that it’s VERY difficult, once legislation is passed, to get it repealed (Prohibition, e.g.) no matter how poorly conceived and wrongheaded it turns out to be in practice.

    And of course Pelosi and the rest of the Dem “leadership” knew that, which is why they rammed it through without allowing any but the most perfunctory discussion of what it contained and its ramifications.

    As I said, pure demagoguery.

  • zingzing

    they talked about it for months. it went back and forth and back and forth until something that could be passed did pass. it’s not like they shoved something through that no one had an opportunity to look at. were you awake for the debate?

    if it’s difficult to repeal, good, i say. (and yes, i know how difficult that shit is… but do you? your “it may well be moot by winter” suggests otherwise.)

    what we have now doesn’t work for far too many people. i hope this will work better. i hope you hope this will work better as well. i concede the fact that maybe this will be worse, but i kinda doubt it.

    but she still wasn’t saying anything close to what you pretended to think she was saying. she read it, and you know that. let’s see how it works. yeah, it’s some big shit to fuck with, but you know, if it’s BROKE, fix it.

    you haven’t seen it “in practice.” and the dem leadership didn’t ram shit down your throat in order to screw you. they did what they thought was right.

    it’s not pure demagoguery. it’s the will of the people. we voted the dems in in large part because we wanted healthcare reform. and they (finally) did it. just because you disagree with it (given your status as a cadillac member–or my status as a perfectly well-insured member of the public) doesn’t mean that a shitload of people should go wanting.

    your point of view is selfish. you may think that’s good. i may adopt your attitude as i grow older. i have no idea. but selfish attitudes are shitty in my book right now.

    you’ve done well for yourself. fine. great. can you relinquish a few percentage points of your income in order to see others do well? yes, you fucking can. we all do it. spend one night a month in when you’d rather go out. there. you’ve done your duty to america. with that money, you can pay off your burden to the tax bureau. 4 or 5 other people can eat that night. yay. it’s easy. welcome to being a productive member of society.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Zing, they did shove it through. They didn’t even meet the constitutional standards for passage of a bill. It was “deemed passed” without a vote on the full content of the bill by both houses. That’s just bullshit.

    It’s already clear that huge portions of it will be struck down by the courts, and they should be because it’s an outrage against our rights and our interests as citizens.

    Dave

  • Arch ConscienceStain

    That’s just bullshit.

    Dave knows bullshit!

    Yes, they shoved it through, very much like when the GOP used the very same procedure in the past.

    Back then, I’m very certain it was for the good of the American people. Yes, of that I am certain.

    (I am holding my hand over my heart right now. No fingers crossed or anything!)

  • Arch ConscienceStain

    Re: “Rammed it through”

    Nice to see the resident Republican-defenders parroting the editorial arc of Fox News.

    Yes.

  • zingzing

    dave, if that was a shove, it was the most excruciatingly slow shove ever to shooooooooooovvvvvvvvveeeee. if you couldn’t dodge it, don’t blame them. and the reconciliation process is a republican favorite, used to pass everything from budgets to tax cuts. so don’t give me that shit. it’s fine for you to use it, eh? great, dave. fuck off.

  • Baronius

    Come on, Zing. They didn’t use the reconciliation process. They passed separate versions and later had the House pass amendments. They didn’t reconcile the bills because they knew they couldn’t get them through both houses a second time.

  • Cannonshop

    #13 Zing, I read it after it was passed-sure as hell if Nancy believes her own rhetoric, she didn’t, or she’d have realized it was drafted by K-street lobbyists and Federal Bureaucrats, doesn’t do what even the DEMOCRATS said it would do, and is largely un-enforceable in spite of being a couple thousand words in length.

    Your defense of the comment reveals something else-apparently, the voters in California are just as lazy and lack-witted, taking your statement to its logical conclusion-because that is the only defense that comment (even in its full form) has.

    So, are the People of California stupid or something?

  • zingzing

    cannonshop: “Your defense of the comment reveals something else-apparently, the voters in California are just as lazy and lack-witted, taking your statement to its logical conclusion-because that is the only defense that comment (even in its full form) has.”

    as a full sentence, i can’t make out what you’re trying to say. the last two phrases, however, i can answer.

    yes, it is the logical conclusion, because it’s what she means. it’s not a defense. it doesn’t need a defense. you really think she didn’t read it? how else would she fill up the months and months it took to get a passable version? you certainly seem to know how it will work (or not work, as you say), but why are you so worried about it if it’s unenforceable?

    you never know how legislation will work until its enacted. look at the civil rights bill. great piece of legislation. 3 years later, the blacks are still rioting. obviously, it didn’t do all it set out to do. other legislation set out to do something very specific, but had wide-ranging effects never even considered by the legislation’s framers. you simply never know how legislation will act once it is reality.

    “a couple thousand words in length.”

    you mean pages? i hope you mean pages.

  • zingzing

    baronius: “Come on, Zing. They didn’t use the reconciliation process.”

    everyone seems to think they did.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Our conservative friends should check their facts a little more carefully.

    Yes, the Senate vote was via reconciliation. That’s why fewer than 60 votes were required. It did indeed go back to the House a second time because Senate parliamentarians found a couple of errors that needed to be corrected.

    And the “deemed passed” maneuver was discussed but in the end not used in the House.

    Come on, it’s only been six months, guys, and you are allegedly people who follow the news closely.

    And by the way, the “Bush tax cuts” were also passed via reconciliation in 2001 and 2003, to avoid the 60-vote threshold.

  • zingzing

    that’s what i thought. i’ll admit i doubted myself momentarily… funny that republicans made such a big stink about it (given that they’ve used it aplenty and that they’ve already forgotten…).

  • Baronius

    Handy, in one sense you’re right, but it’s a sense in which no one’s ever used the term “reconciliation” before, at least as far as I can tell. Traditionally, the House and Senate meet in a conference to created compromise legislation that both bodies will pass. The term “reconciliation” can also refer to the process of merging bills produced by different committees in the same house. I don’t think it’s ever been used to describe legislation that got passed and signed, with modifications passed and signed a week later.

  • Cannonshop

    “you really think she didn’t read it? how else would she fill up the months and months it took to get a passable version? you certainly seem to know how it will work (or not work, as you say), but why are you so worried about it if it’s unenforceable?”

    The portions that are unenforceable are the portions directly concerned with reform. The Taxation portions, including taxing employer-provided benefits as if they were income are CERTAINLY enforce-able, and the individual mandate may well get a ‘pass’ because it flies under colour of tax-law.

    But it fails to provide the benefit it was the stated intent of the law to provide.

    As for what I think Nancy was doing? FUNDRAISING FOR THE NEXT ELECTION and riding herd on her fellow-party-members seem much more likely than reading the legislation does. (that, and press conferences to sell it.)

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    In one sense? Budget reconciliation is budget reconciliation. It has been used in various ways over the years. It can only be used once per fiscal year, and special rules apply.

    Do you mean you think the Dems pulled a fast one this time? Nope. Strictly by the rules.

    I’m too lazy to put in links, but look up in Wikipedia:
    “Reconciliation (United States Congress)”
    and
    “Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010″

    and then let me know what you might possibly be talking about.

  • zingzing

    well, cannonshop, of course i can never guarantee she read it, but by saying what she said, she wasn’t anywhere near to commenting on whether she had read it or not. it takes a little reading between the lines (not much though), and i’m sure you’re quite capable of doing just that.

    making some whacked-out attempt to make it seem like she was saying she hadn’t read it (if she hadn’t, why on earth would she say so?) is transparent and simply playing politics. it’s asinine and doesn’t do anything except substitute a non-point for whatever valid criticism you might have had.

    done and done.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Can I call you Joe? :D

    I know our politics are not the same, but I agree with your assessment of the Tea Party in this article, they have been taken-over by loons.

    JD You betcha!

  • Clavos

    Your original reference as to whether or not she read it zing, was directed at me and one of my comments. I never said that she hadn’t read it (though I did later characterize it as “doubtful”), and I don’t really think it matters whether she did or not, she’s only one congressclown.

    My point was and is that the MaJORITY of those clowns didn’t read it before the Dems pushed it through.

    That’s it.

    It’s a hell of a bad way to do business, whether it’s the Dems or the Repukes doing it.

    They ALL suck.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    My point was and is that the MaJORITY of those clowns didn’t read it before the Dems pushed it through.

    Did any of these clowns(all of them) read anything during the Bush/Cheney terms?

    Patriot Act…

  • zingzing

    actually, clavos, my original reference (#13) was directed at cannonshop in #10. he made it seem like she said something utterly insane (like “let’s pass it, then i’ll read it”).

    you came in a few comments later with “Spin it any way you want guys, it’s still a backwards approach to legislation[…] Pass a bill before Congress knows what’s in it…” in reference to a different, or possibly more complete, quote from pelosi.

    you’re still making it out to seem like it’s an issue of reading the thing. but that’s not what she was talking about at all. and you know that, now don’t you? (and even if you think she didn’t, you can’t really think that she said she didn’t. it’s just not plausible.)

    maybe you think they (or a majority) didn’t read it. maybe you’re right. one would think that someone must have been reading something in order to pull out all the distortions and half-truths that were floating around for MONTHS ON END as the thing was being written, rewritten, scrapped, pulped, burned, reconstituted, lied about, summarized, pumped up, scrutinized, put on the internet, bits of it quoted for truth, bits of it quoted to spread nonsense, etc, etc, etc.

    you’d think.

  • zingzing

    just to be clear, that’s “and even if you think she didn’t [read it]…”

  • Clavos

    Did any of these clowns(all of them) read anything during the Bush/Cheney terms?

    No.

    One more time:

    They ALL suck.

    All of ‘em.

  • zingzing

    “They ALL suck.”

    well, i can agree with you for at least one side of the aisle. since most republicans are ignorant, greedy fucks, i’m not surprised they vote in ignorant, greedy fucks.

    democrats are super-intelligent angels with nice bodies and a distinct lack of nose and ear hair. yup.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Some of the bills are so enormous physically that “reading” them does seem dubious. But I think it’s a false issue.

    The GOP and Dem leadership knew very well what was in these bills. The length of the process, the large numbers of staff members, even the intensive press coverage saw to that. They have been published on the web and microscopically examined.

    Still they are a lot more gigantic than they used to be. I found this list online:

    2010 Healthcare bill = 2,074 pages
    2010 Financial reform bill = 2.319 pages
    Social Security Act of 1935 = 82 pages
    Civil Rights Act of 1964 = 74 pages
    Federal Reserve Act (1913) = 31 pages.
    Glass-Steagall Act (1933) = 37 pages.
    Sarbanes-Oxley Act (2002) = 66 pages

  • Clavos

    Interesting list, handy, especially when one notices that as recently as 2002, Sarbanes-Oxley took fewer than a hundred pages. Social Security and Civil Rights, two of the most important and momentous pieces of legislation ever, 82 and 74 pages respectively.

    Wonder when the page inflation really began to accelerate?

  • Cannonshop

    #38 which is why people are pissed off, and why the “Weirdoes” are getting big in the TEA Party-because NEITHER side of the Aisle bothers to read what they vote on, both of them collude in screwing us (that is, those of us whom are not part of the flavour-of-the-week special interest) over.

    I mean, come on folks, this whole movement thing started months before the November elections of 2008, it started with BUSH bailing out AIG f’rchrissakes, with “help” from both the “Mainstream” Repub leadership, and the whole of the Democrats in congress…(Except for a few select ones, like Cantwell, who realized back then that ‘too big to fail’ is too big to succeed… She is, oddly enough, a Dem I have consistently voted for since her return to elected office…)

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    This is why they have staff.

    Still they are a lot more gigantic than they used to be. I found this list online:

    2010 Healthcare bill = 2,074 pages
    2010 Financial reform bill = 2.319 pages
    Social Security Act of 1935 = 82 pages
    Civil Rights Act of 1964 = 74 pages
    Federal Reserve Act (1913) = 31 pages.
    Glass-Steagall Act (1933) = 37 pages.
    Sarbanes-Oxley Act (2002) = 66 pages

    JD Duh.

  • Mark

    From Politico

    The 10 longest bills:

    “1. 314,900 words, “Affordable Health Care for American Act,” 2009, Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.)

    2. 314,832 words, “Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users,” 2005, Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska)

    3. 314,573 words, “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” 2009, Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.)

    4. 296,111 words, “Consolidated Appropriations Act,” 2005, Rep. James Kolbe (R-Ariz.)

    5. 276,849 words, “Consolidated Appropriations Act,” 2008 Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.)

    6. 274,559 words, “No Child Left Behind Act,” 2001, Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio)

    7. 258,205 words, “National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008,” Rep. Ike Skelton (D-Mo.)

    8. 250,286 words, “Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008,” Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.)

    9. 246,984 words, “Consolidated Appropriations Resolution,” 2003, Rep. Bill Young (R-Fla.)

    10. 226,492 words, “Energy Policy Act,” 2005, Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas)”

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Did any of these clowns(all of them) read anything during the Bush/Cheney terms?

    Again:

    The Patriot Act was the worst piece of legislation ever written in the history of this country! We gave up vital elements of our freedom that we will ever get back, habeas corpus.

    JD So, they suck more…

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    NEVER! not ever.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Here you are, all of you bitching about how much this government sucks, but you don’t want to do anything good about it, except put the people you like in power. To the rest of us, they(Tea Party candidates)) really suck!

    Dismantle Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid? No way in hell! And leave our schools and unions alone, none of you even have a clue.

    JD :( bastards!

  • Clavos

    I agree with leaving the government schools alone — to the extent of not sending your kids to them. Teach them at home (you have the legal right to do so) or, if you can afford it, send them to private or charter schools.

    That way, they’ll at least learn to read and write.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    This country belongs to all of us, Clavos, not just the people who can afford what-ever they desire for them and theirs.

    I’m not a socialist, but compared to You, I am!

    :( I’ll be back later today, don’t cheer.

  • Baronius

    Of course we’d like to put the people we like in power. Everyone would. And this is a democracy, so that works out nicely.

  • Clavos

    This country belongs to all of us, Clavos, not just the people who can afford what-ever they desire for them and theirs.

    Agreed.

    Is there a point in there somewhere?

  • Clavos

    Here’s a good quote in re our government, from the late Democratic Senator from New York, Daniel Patrick Moynihan:

    “The single most exciting thing you encounter in government is competence, because it’s so rare.”

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    It’s good to know that John Boehner and Joe Barton have also put their names on gigantic bills that consume a forestful of paper.

    The number of pages is not good or bad in itself, but it does make you wonder what’s going on.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Urban public schools shouldn’t/needn’t have become repositories for the children of the poor. Did this happen because white parents disliked integration and moved?

    Other countries that are far more successful than the US at education do not accomplish that through the expansion of private schools or home schooling. What’s wrong with us?

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    #55 was in reference to this comment:I agree with leaving the government schools alone — to the extent of not sending your kids to them. Teach them at home (you have the legal right to do so) or, if you can afford it, send them to private or charter schools.

    Education is for all levels of income, not just the wealthy, Clavos.

  • Cannonshop

    #59 We’ll agree on that one, Jeannie, when rich and powerful people in Government send their offspring to public schools, instead of Sidwell Friends.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Cannonshop,

    I don’t know why the other parents in DC chose, Sidwell friends, could it be because it’s not forgotten? However, if this is a little dig about Obama, where did you think the first children should go? Somewhere where they would be even more vulnerable?

    JD

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    So Ms. O’Donnell won tonight. Now what? The Delaware Republican Party had pretty thoroughly repudiated her. So now they embrace her candidacy?

    Insani-tea, indeed.

  • Cannonshop

    #61 Jeannie, I think it should be a damn JOB REQUIREMENT for the kin of elected officials to attend the same public schools they neglect.

    ’cause maybe then, the elected bastards would care about the quality of the public educational product.

    Obama sends his kids to Sidwell Friends because He loves his children and wants them to succeed. Which they likely won’t do, attending a D.C. public school.

    Get it?

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Cannonshop,

    it should be a damn JOB REQUIREMENT for the kin of elected officials to attend the same public schools they neglect.

    If everyone would stop groaning about school taxes, and regulate the regulators(board members who are present only to lower taxes), and if the Senate actually funded Title One(instead of just changing the name to *No Child Left Behind* and then pretending that its funded), then you’d have an argument here.

    JD- I agree with You, there should be a lot of changes to the way we run this country…

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Cannon continued,

    You think it’s all, Obamas fault?

    You are so wrong:

    We have neglected our public-everything for many years. I wonder how many more gas-line explosions, bridge collapses, and crumbling buildings we will have to endure, before we start fixing our sad-infrastructure? all of it…

    Obama sends his kids to private school because of death threats.

    JD -We elected a brilliant President. Who do you have, Sarah Palin?

  • Clavos

    there should be a lot of changes to the way we run this country…

    Agreed. Let’s start with demanding that those slacker government employees start paying their taxes, especially the WH staffers. From this morning’s LA Times:

    We now know that federal employees across the nation owe fully $1 billion in back taxes to the Internal Revenue Service.

    As in, 1,000 times one million dollars. All this political jabber about giving middle-class …
    … Americans a tax cut. Thousands of feds have been giving themselves one all along — unofficially. And these tax scofflaws include more than three dozen folks who work for the president with that newly decorated Oval Office.
    (emphasis added)

    …Privacy laws prevent release of individual tax delinquents’ names. But we do know that as of the end of 2009, 41 people inside Obama’s very own White House owe the government they’re allegedly running a total of $831,055 in back taxes.

  • Clavos

    Education is for all levels of income, not just the wealthy, Clavos.

    Agreed. Two points:

    1. The voucher system allows parents living in areas with no good schools to send their kids to better ones without having to be wealthy to do so. But the effing teacher unions are fighting tooth and nail to block vouchers.

    2. Home schooling costs nothing. I have a friend who has home schooled all three of her kids for the last 20 years, even though she works. Those three kids are the best spoken, most knowledgeable kids of their respective ages I’ve ever met; they are far better educated than the government-schooled kids who are their contemporaries. My friend has worked her ass off for years to accomplish this, but the gift she has given her children in doing so is priceless.

  • Clavos

    Forgot to mention that in areas where the voucher system HAS been implemented, it has been a smashing success, with voucher kids’ test scores soaring above those of gummint school kids.

    But the NEA and AFT, are afraid of the competition.

  • Clavos

    We elected a brilliant President.

    Bwahahahahahahaha!!!

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Clavos,

    “He who is without sin, cast the first stone”- Jesus many, many years ago.

    Let’s start with demanding that those slacker government employees start paying their taxes, especially the WH staffers.

    JD ?

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    As it so happens, our schools not in the intercity-system are doing very well.

    We are working very hard and diligently to correct many years of neglect. Yes, thank you, it’s starting to show…

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Take your voucher system and shove it!

    The voucher system allows parents living in areas with no good schools to send their kids to better ones without having to be wealthy to do so. But the effing teacher unions are fighting tooth and nail to block vouchers.

    We will make all schools better! There are not two Americas and there aren’t going to be two different worlds of opportunity…

    JD

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Clavos, Try to improve our country, instead of tearing it down at every opportunity. Give better solutions.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    The teacher unions are fighting tooth and nail to block vouchers.

    Yayyyyyyyyyy!!!!!

  • Clavos

    The teacher unions, protecting poorly performing teachers by fighting teacher evaluations are a major reason why the government schools are so inferior to the public schools of virtually every other developed nation in the world. Every European nation does a better job educating their children than the US, so do the Asian nations — even many of the impoverished Latin American countries have better school systems.

    Here in the US, we graduate kids from high school who can only read and write on an elementary school level, and who can’t do simple math — it’s a disgrace, but it meets your criterion, Jeannie, they are all equal, alright — equally deficient.

    So keep on cheering for the teacher’s unions as they protect their members to the detriment of our children.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Bull, it’s infrastructure and too much business cream taking from the top.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Even as they hammer Democrats for running up record budget deficits, Senate Republicans are rolling out a plan to permanently extend an array of expiring tax breaks that would deprive the Treasury of more than $4 trillion over the next decade, nearly doubling projected deficits over that period unless dramatic spending cuts are made. Source

    The only spending cuts we are interested in is ending these immorally-obnoxious tax cuts for the top 2 %!

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Clavos,

    The promise of the Lottery to fix our school system is a good example of a bad idea getting worse.

    Now we have more people addicted to gambling and the money goes to the schools? Give me a break! The powers that be(school boards) figured out how to lower the public input(taxes) to the system and the schools are still getting short changed.

  • Clavos

    That’s bull, Jeannie, I don’t have time to give you a link, but you can google it: the US spends far more per capita on lower school education (K-12) than most of the other developed nations, with MUCH worse results.

    You buy into the teacher’s unions strawman arguments too much.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    I don’t need a link, Clavos, because I know why…

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Clavos,

    I forgot to wish everyone a Happy Lehman’s Day!

    :D Lest we forget…

  • Baronius

    Jeannie, you complain about the elite exerting too much power. Take a look at the education establishment. Big Degree has been sucking on the public teat as much as anyone, while the product they produce has been declining in quality. If they had “corporation” in their names, you’d never stand for it.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Yes, Clavos we already have those, they are called For-profit-Colleges. give me some time… I’m not through with the rest of the world yet! :D

  • Cannonshop

    Jeannie, I don’t think it’s Obama’s fault at all-but I do hold his party largely responsible, and I recall that he ran on “Hope and Change”-well, his change so far has been akin to throwing hydrochloric acid on rust instead of dealing with corrosion-in other words, more of the same, only amped to a higher level that is actually more destructive than doing nothing at all.

    I can blame him for THAT…because he’s the man “in Charge”, the guy who took the job and assumed the responsibility.

    But back to the digression on Education for a moment…

    Why is it that you feel we should have European style health-care, but you feel it is wrong to evaluate teachers-which European, Asian, and Central american countries have done routinely? Not so very long ago, I sat in a classroom that was an Algebra Classroom, run by a P.E. major who did not know the material he was allegedly teaching (which would be…Algebra.) This was in the late eighties, things have not improved significantly, and short of catching an ‘Educator” with their hand down a student’s pants, it’s pretty much impossible to get rid of someone in the “Teacher’s” union.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Baronius, #83 was a response to # 82, I don’t know why I thought it was Clavos, probably cause I was fired up, defending the working class from his jaws! :Q

    Which begs a really-good question of all of you here: “Why always beat the education unions or any union for that matter?”

    Here is a *special* example of what non-union labor will endure so that we all can have our toys:

    At Foxconn after 22 suicide-jumpers gave into the utter-despair brought on by their deplorable working conditions: 35 cents an hr, ten to a small company owned room, and eighteen year prison sentence if you even try to start a union.

    Foxconn finally strung suicide nets between the buildings (employee health care).

    JD

  • Jordan Richardson

    Foxconn also held an “anti-suicide rally” where they gave out t-shirts and cheerleader costumes complete with pom-poms. And they hired exorcists. And made sure employees would sign “no suicide” contracts.

    Reminds me of Wal-mart, only less pom-poms.

  • Mark

    ‘Unions’ have become an enforcement arm for the ruling class and have overseen the degradation of workers’ bargaining power over the past forty years. Look at the leaders’ shoes.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Clavos and company,

    If not for the unions, the educators wouldn’t have, full health care: medical, dental, eyes, and prescription co-pay.
    I don’t know what all this, *teachers are stupid* talk is about(totally uncalled for). In my state, teachers hold at the very-least, a master’s degree in education.

    Blamming the unions formed by and made up of Educators is demonising millions of good, decent, and hard working people, who had more fortitude in their hearts than just going for the big-buck!

    How many of You would buy the company’s supplies out of your own pocket and work late into the evening hours for no pay? We at BC aren’t included, this isn’t work, it’s a mission…

    JD (

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Jordan,

    I almost used that link! But it looked *happy* , child labor also came to mind(they all looked so young…)

  • Mark

    Why have the teachers’ unions allowed this sorry state of affairs — poor pay, long unpaid hours, etc.– to develop?

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Mark,

    That’s a load and if you ever sat down to read a legally-binding union-contract between the teachers and the administration, then you would have a leg.

    Give me a break, without a contract my family wouldn’t have health care, pension, and a livable wage. We would be eligible for food-stamps, just like Wal-Mart employees.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Mark,

    You need to look at state mandates, unfunded entitlements, and the administrations, who along withe the school boards, lower taxes, save the districts money by cutting programs and support to the teachers and students. Yet, these same administrators(in their effort to make everything a profit), see their way to staffing air-conditioned offices with plenty of support staff for themselves, trips, luncheons and all those little perks that make these 100K plus jobs bearable

    :””” ( I cry for them, boo hoo.

  • Mark

    jeannie, none of what you point to answers the question.

    Maybe teachers should look to developing new local associations to ‘deal with’ their their bosses and funding sources (communities). This is certainly true in the manufacturing sector, imo.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Mark,

    My husband was the president of his local for many years. I’m sorry, but IMO, your knowledge-level of the union is under question, and if these comments are being generated by anyone other than yourself in-order to work on *a paper* or *whatever*, I would really appreciate it if you were honest with me.

    JD

  • Mark

    I’d be interested in your husband’s opinions on why the unions have been unable to maintain some form of ‘parity’ for educators…or are you satisfied with present conditions?

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    School boards are the major stumbling block, then after that you have the out-sourcing and admin. What can’t you understand? My, husband would have been happy to explain this to you, Mark…

    :(

  • Clavos

    In my state, teachers hold at the very-least, a master’s degree in education.

    Thank you.

    That’s one of the problems with the educational system; teacher training. The emphasis on obtaining degrees in “Education,” rather than in the discipline the teacher will teach. As an English major in undergraduate school, I had to have a minimum of 90 quarter hours in English courses to graduate. My girl friend at the time wanted to teach English, was an Education major and was only required to take 30 hours of English courses; the rest were “Education” courses that had nothing to do with the discipline she would be teaching.

    Further on “Education” majors: while in college, I had a part time job in the Audio Visual department as a projectionist. Our biggest customers were the College of Education — more than the College of Business, more than the College of Medicine — more even than the College of Liberal Arts. I sat through dozens of sessions of “Education” classes at all levels. I was appalled at the amount of time wasted “teaching” those kids “how to teach,” as opposed to actually ensuring they knew their subject matter. Ironically, any English major, with three times as many courses in the discipline as the “Education” major, cannot teach English at K-12 level unless they get certified, which requires taking those stupid “Education” courses. If you want to teach English at college level, however, no “Education” courses or certification is required.

    “Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach. Those who can’t teach, teach teachers.”

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Good point, Clavos

    That’s because the district reserves the right to place you in whatever class that they want. It doesn’t matter to them if you are an english, math, or science
    teacher. There is a lack of respect for the teacher and the child is the one that gets punished in the end. Specialized teaching would be beneficial to all. However, once again, the district is only concerned with keeping tax-payer costs to a minimum.

    Here you say:
    My girl friend at the time wanted to teach English, was an Education major and was only required to take 30 hours of English courses; the rest were “Education” courses that had nothing to do with the discipline she would be teaching.

    JD – I got my gloves on!

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    and you wonder why I always say, “Pay your taxes and STFU.”

    :D Now, you know part of the answer…

  • Clavos

    Jeannie,

    I DO pay my taxes, and at a percentage rate (of earned income) significantly higher than the rates paid by at least 60% of taxpayers.

    So, I most definitely will NOT STFU.

    I pay (through the nose) for the right to bitch about what the gummint spends my taxes on.

    And I will continue to do so until it stops.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    There seems to be a real effort going on, at both the federal and local level, to improve education. Arne Duncan is one of the very best of Obama’s cabinet members, not afraid to disagree with the teachers’ unions but not demonizing them either.

    I went to [imperfect but not terrible] public schools in the 1960s and 1970s, and they were not thought of as failed socialistic experiments then. I have rather fond memories of them for the most part.

    I’m sure in a country of over 300 million people, it’s rarely a good idea to generalize about anything, e.g. all public schools suck.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    For anyone who cares, there’s only one major union that I don’t support – that’s the teachers’ union. I strongly support Michelle Rhee and the butt-kicking she’s been doing in DC, and I wish there were more bureaucrats with her courage.

  • Clavos

    I think you’re right, handy, as to regional differences in the quality of school systems in this country. Nevertheless, the overall level of knowledge of American students compared with other developed countries is exceedingly low, and has been for years.

    Schools here in Florida are not very good at all. If I had children now here, I would make whatever sacrifice necessary (short of moving out of state) to ensure they didn’t go to government schools. I likely would teach them myself, as my friend I mentioned above has done.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    I was not saying that directly to or about you, Clavos, please except my apology if I wrote that comment too strongly…

    :(

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Nice comment, handyguy.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna
  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    The link doesn’t work for #106

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    But Clavos, those other countries who educate their kids more successfully do it mostly in state-run schools. So it’s not impossible.

  • zingzing

    i managed to get a good education in southern public schools from 85-97. it’s up to the individual. i’d bet the problem has less to do with schools than it does with parents. of course, lousy parents want to blame the schools. the schools really can’t throw the blame back on the parents. if, as a nation, we could get rid of parents, our children would be better off. i have spoken. thank you.